The skills you gain through studying an English degree are marketable in most career areas. Here's some ideas about what you can do
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Digital copywriter
- Editorial assistant
- English as a foreign language teacher
- Magazine journalist
- Newspaper journalist
- Publishing copy-editor/proofreader
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Academic librarian
- Advertising account executive
- Advertising copywriter
- Arts administrator
- Information officer
- Marketing executive
- PPC specialist
- Primary school teacher
- Public relations officer
- Records manager
- Secondary school teacher
- Social media manager
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. If you haven't already done so, take a few minutes to answer the Job Match questions to find out what careers would suit you.
As English is a non-vocational course, the skills developed outside your study are also vital in developing a well-rounded CV. While at university, for example, many English students write for student newspapers and magazines, get involved with student radio or film societies, or volunteer in the community or local schools. Evidence of any skills gained from work experience and extracurricular activities, as well as through study, can help boost your job prospects.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
English graduates find opportunities with many different employers. Public and private sector organisations such as the National Health Service (NHS), educational institutions, local and national government, financial and legal firms, and voluntary and charitable organisations employ English graduates in a range of roles, including:
- general management
Other typical employers include:
- advertising marketing and public relations agencies
- media organisations
- publishing companies.
The retail, leisure and tourism sectors also typically recruit English graduates.
Skills for your CV
The major strength of all English graduates is the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Studying an English degree also develops skills in:
- independent working
- time management and organisation
- planning and researching written work
- articulating knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories
- leading and participating in discussions
- negotiation and teamworking to present ideas and information
- effectively conveying arguments and opinions and thinking creatively
- using your judgement to weigh up alternative perspectives
- critical reasoning and analysis
- using IT.
Some English graduates choose to continue their academic studies by doing an MA or a PhD, while others choose to study more vocational postgraduate courses in areas such as teaching, journalism, librarianship or law. Such courses allow you to study in an area you wish to enter as a career. More information on funding for postgraduate study and research is available from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
English graduates may decide to undertake further study in areas such as marketing and management, finance, human resource management and business to enhance their knowledge of a specific career area.
What do English graduates do?
A fifth of graduates go on to further study, almost a third of whom are studying towards a teacher training qualification and a quarter continue to study English.
|Working and studying||6.8|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and bar work||18.7|
|Marketing, PR and sales||15.4|
|Secretarial and numerical clerks||13|
|Arts, design and media||9.5|
For a detailed breakdown of what English graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Find out more
- The English Association - resource for those interested in English at all levels, from primary to higher education.